Many a Yorkshire lad down the years has started a scrapbook of his favourite White Rose cricketers but few have gone on to broaden its contents into a serious collection of cricketing memorabilia that must rank as one of the best in the Broad Acres.
John White did just that and much of his collection is crammed into his book Those Were The Days: A Yorkshire Boy’s Cricket Scrapbook (Christopher Saunders Publishing Ltd, £20).
John was born and grew up in Royston, the same West Riding village five miles out of Barnsley where lived Norman Yardley, the former Yorkshire and England captain.
Yardley had still not captained either Yorkshire or England when John was a nine-year-old in 1947 but his cricketing fame had already made him the young boy’s sporting hero it was now that John plucked up sufficient courage to get the great man’s autograph.
John was already in possession of Yardley’s picture on a cigarette card but this was his first autograph and it was the first step towards building up a major collection of Yorkshire cricketana.
Naturally, Norman Yardley features extensively in the scrapbook and perhaps it is not surprising that one of his three sons, Edward, should write an appreciative foreword to Those Were The Days or that photographs from the Yardley albums should be found in its pages which contain over 800 illustrations of items from John’s personal collection of cigarette cards, postcards, team and player photographs and the like, all weaving their way round a fascinating and informative script of all things to do with Yorkshire cricket.
The book has already been read from cover to cover by Brian Sanderson, a member of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation’s Archives Committee, who says it is particularly outstanding for its photographic images, including a rare signed picture of Fairfax Gill who played in two matches for Yorkshire and died during the First World War.
“This book gives the reader a chance to see John White’s extensive collection and it may prove to be the start of other collectors issuing similar books,” said Brian.
“I feel it is a ‘must’ book for Yorkshire cricket followers and collectors as they will come across numerous rare images not previously seen.”
Yorkshire cricket is a passion to John but his own working life will be of huge interest to many who are more interested in music than in sport. He was taught to play the violin by his father and during national service he was awarded a viola scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. A former member of the Alberni String Quartet, the Stadler Trio and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, John was viola professor at the Royal Academy of Music for over 30 years and has chaired four international viola congresses in the UK since 1978.
The book can be bought from www.cricket-books.com with package and posting £5.